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Back to the Future Part III (1990)

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Enjoying a peaceable existence in 1885, Doctor Emmet Brown is about to be killed by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Marty McFly travels back in time to save his friend.



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly receives written word from his friend, Doctor Emmett Brown, as to where can be found the DeLorean time machine. However, an unfortunate discovery prompts Marty to go to his friend's aid. Using the time machine, Marty travels to the old west where his friend has run afoul of a gang of thugs and has fallen in love with a local schoolteacher. Using the technology from the time, Marty and Emmett devise one last chance to send the two of them back to the future. Written by Vampire Sharpshooter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They've saved the best trip for last... But this time they may have gone too far.


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Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

25 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)


$87,666,629 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to the book "Billy Gibbons: Rock & Roll Gearhead", ZZ Top was hanging around the set and was asked to be the town band. During one take, the camera broke. While waiting for the camera to be repaired, Michael J. Fox asked if they would play "Hey Good Lookin'" which they did. Afterwards, more requests were played. Two hours later, someone inquired if the camera had been repaired. Robert Zemeckis replied that it had been fixed for quite a while, he just didn't want to stop the party that had evolved. See more »


In 1885 the train engineer is wearing a traditional striped hat. This type of hat was invented by George Kromer in 1906. In 1885, railroad men wore the same type of hats as any other person engaged in physical labor. See more »


[first lines]
Marty McFly: Doc! Doc! Doc!
Young Doc: [not paying attention] What?
Marty McFly: Doc!
Young Doc: What?
Marty McFly: Doc!
Young Doc: [finally seeing him] Aaaah!
Marty McFly: Okay, relax, Doc, it's me! It's me, It's Marty!
Young Doc: No, it can't be! I just sent you back to the future!
Marty McFly: Oh, I know you did send me back to the future. But I'm back, I'm back *from* the future.
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Crazy Credits

The film opens with all four versions of the Universal Pictures company bumper. See more »


Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Cavemen (2013) See more »


Turkey in the Straw
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The most fun of the three.

Part III, the wild west entry, is probably the most fun. The original has just such a fantastic premise that creates a sense of urgency about seeing it out till the end, but there is something uncomfortable about your mother having a crush on you that leaves a bad taste in the mouth during Part I. The premise of Part III is this: in 1955, Doc learns that he will eventually travel back to 1885 to live out his days as a blacksmith, but then Copernicus, Doc's 1955 dog, stumbles upon a gravestone that tells Doc and Marty that Doc will be shot to death by Buford Tannen over a matter of 80 dollars. Naturally, Marty says he will travel back to 1885 and get Doc and bring him back to the future with him (though it couldn't be 1955, because there's already one Doc there).

There are time-jumping laws that are not obeyed by the scriptwriters here, and much worse than in the second film, but this one's so well concentrated and so much the better movie that they hardly matter. It has a climax involving a train that rivals the clocktower climax of the first one. A fantastic scene.

Thomas F Wilson, the perennial bad guy of these movies, who started off as Biff Tannen in the original, played Griff Tannen in the second one, throws himself into a Yosemite Sam part as Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen in the third. Mary Steenbergen, in one of her few leading roles, is a nice addition to the cast. She fits right into the wild west world, as the dainty schoolteacher who plays "his beloved Clara" to the Doc.

Like the others, its larger-than-life tone, with the over-blown time-travel dialogue and melodramatic highs and lows, render it into a kind of live-action cartoon. Kids will enjoy Part III the most, but it is so good-natured that adults should have fun with it too. Out of the three, this is the one that you'll be able to put on any time and feel good. Great, harmless fun.

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2 DeLoreans in 1885 laguna0730
My biggest problem with this that nobody ever notices... powermandan
Flaw - 2x DeLorean's in 1885 mr-hahn-kransilbruk
Elisabeth Shue is my favorite version Jennifer Parker . . . cleargraphics
Plot Hole SirLaughsalot
Oh! You know that hurt. robert-larsen
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